$15 Million Jury Award obtained by Bare Law Firm

by Douglas R. Bare on Apr. 08, 2016

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: $15 Million Jury Award obtained by Bare Law Firm. The award was one of the largest jury awards in the history of York and Lancaster Counties.

Bare Law Firm Obtains $15 million Jury Award

$15 million to victims of fatal drunken driving accident 

One of largest injury awards in the history of both York and Lancaster Counties was secured by Douglas Bare and Taylor Bare of the Bare Law Firm.    

A drunken driver sentenced to one of the longest prison terms in 
Lancaster County after causing a fatal head-on crash has been 
ordered to pay out one of the largest civil penalties as well. 

A jury has awarded $15.1 million to the estate of Kaitlyn E. Berry, who 
died in the February 2014 wreck, and her mother, Lisa Stamper, who 
was severely injured and now relies on a wheelchair to get around. 
Attorneys for Stamper and Berry, Douglas Bare and Taylor, said Monday even they were surprised by the 
size of the jury’s civil award against Carlos R. Garcia, a city man who 
had been drunk and was speeding through Lancaster on a suspended license at the time of the crash. 

"Most of the damages were punitive, which is essentially a way for the jury to try and prevent another family 
from going through a senseless death like this one,” said Taylor Bare, of the Bare Law Firm. 

“The defendant was speeding, he didn't have a license and he was drunk," Bare said. 

Also named in the July 2014 civil suit was Cristal Pena, the owner of the car driven by Garcia. The suit alleged 
negligence, recklessness and wrongful death. 

The Lancaster County jury issued its judgment of more than $8 
million to Berry’s estate, and more than $7 million to Stamper. 

Garcia, then 33, pleaded guilty in July 2014 to felony counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the 
influence, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence and related charges. 
“I want to apologize," he told a Lancaster County judge at the time. “I'm living with this every day of my life. 
There's nothing I can say to justify my actions.” 

What happened 

Garcia’s license had already been suspended — from a prior DUI — when he got behind the wheel on the 
Saturday afternoon of Feb. 22, 2014, prosecutors said. 
With his 7-year-old son as a front-seat passenger, Garcia was seen speeding and passing cars on East King Street 
without using turn signals before he struck Stamper’s eastbound Subaru.

His erratic driving was captured on a surveillance camera from a bus, according to an affidavit in the case.
Police determined Garcia’s SUV was traveling 55 mph, in a 35 mph 
zone, and that he didn’t brake prior to the crash. 
Tests revealed his blood-alcohol level was .144 percent shortly after 
the crash — nearly twice the state’s legal limit of .08 percent for 

The crash killed Berry, 24, of Dover, York County. Stamper, of 
Lancaster Township, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 
Garcia’s son had only minor injuries. 

Lancaster County Judge Joseph Madenspacher ordered what is believed to be the longest sentence in history here for vehicular homicide while DUI — 19 years and three months to 38 years in prison. 

Garcia appealed his sentence to Superior Court but was denied in September. 
The online legal publication, pennrecord.com (http://pennrecord.com/stories/510656784-lancaster-county-juryreaches-
15-million-award-in-lawsuit-over-fatal-dui-crash), claims the judgment is one of the largest personal 
injury verdicts ever awarded in Lancaster or York Counties.  Credit to Susan Baldrige of Lancaster Online for her story.

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